Kim Cattrall Turned Down 'Sex and the City' 3 Times Before Accepting Her Role as Samantha

It’s hard to imagine the Sex and the City series without Kim Cattrall’s Golden Globe-winning performance as Samantha Jones. But according to Cattrall, she wasn’t initially sure she’d do justice to the role, so she actually turned it down thrice. 

Kim Cattrall turned down the role of Samantha on ‘Sex and the City’ multiple times

Cattrall is a trained actor who started her film, television, and stage career 20 years before Sex and the City premiered. She appeared in dozens of movies and series, including the 1987 Academy Award-nominated rom-com, Mannequin.

By the time the role of the sexually confident businesswoman Samantha Jones was offered to her, Cattrall was in her early 40s. And she admits the idea of playing such a character was daunting at first. 

“I turned it down three times,” Cattrall told Variety. “I didn’t think I could do it. At 42, I really didn’t think I could pull it off. I finally said, ‘You’re making a mistake here.’”

After some self-reflection, Cattrall took on the role. And she noted that she shaped Samantha’s voice and style as she went along. 

“We did the pilot — it was good but it wasn’t there,” she recalled. “And then it started to find its way. I realized, because I’d never done a series before, the more you play the character, like in theater, the more you add to it and change. I remember one day, a laugh came out, and I thought, ‘Holy s***, that’s great, Sam just got a new laugh.’”

Kim Cattrall reveals what inspired her ‘Sex and the City’ performance 

Samantha was one of the most charismatic characters in Sex and the City. She was bold, confident, and most of all, funny.

“I saw her as a Noël Coward,” Cattrall told Variety, explaining what inspired her performance. “I saw her in a Restoration comedy. The ladies used to use their fans, and they would be very leading. They could be theatrical.” 

But being boisterous and theatrical wasn’t always easy. Cattrall revealed she had to know her lines “backwards and forwards” because Samantha had already “been there and done all those things.” 

“She was always talking from the mount,” said Cattrall. “The voice got more and more pronounced as the seasons got on. I always wanted to make it as honest as possible, but also make it Samantha.”

But the ‘Sex and the City’ star won’t reprise the role for ‘And Just Like That’ 

Cattrall left Samantha Jones behind after filming the second Sex and the City movie. Eventually, her relationship with the franchise and co-star Sarah Jessica Parker began to fray. So when the reboot show, And Just Like That, went into production, Cattrall wasn’t asked to reprise the role. 

When talking to Variety, Cattrall revealed that she has no interest in ever returning as Samantha. But that doesn’t mean she’s not proud of the work she’s done. 

“There were so many parallels of me growing as an actor and that character,” the Queer as Folk and How I Met Your Father star said. “I would never never want to look back on that with anything other than pride. That I did that, that it existed.”

“That feels powerful, that I’ve left something behind that I’m so proud of,” she added. “I loved her. I loved her so, so, so much.” 

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